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  Apollo 10: Charlie Brown and Snoopy signs

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Author Topic:   Apollo 10: Charlie Brown and Snoopy signs
Larry McGlynn
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From: Boston, MA
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posted 06-23-2014 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I published a new article on the blog today about two of the five crew members on Apollo 10: Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the other crewmen of Apollo X
In May of 1969, Apollo 10 lifted off for a rendezvous with the Moon. It was the dress rehearsal mission for the first lunar surface landing mission, and the crew came within 50,000 feet of the Moon’s surface. While the history books name a three man crew of Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan, the payload that was lifted by a Saturn V rocket on that Sunday afternoon, carried a total of five crewmates...
Charlie and Snoopy are together again.

james f. ruddy
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From: Rancho Mirage, CA
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posted 06-24-2014 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for james f. ruddy   Click Here to Email james f. ruddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A great article Larry. It's fitting that Charlie Brown and Snoopy are together again.

I wonder if it's as much fun to work at NASA today as it was back then?

freshspot
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From: Lexington, MA, USA
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posted 06-25-2014 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Larry, the two paintings together as part of your collection are remarkable. Wow - what a fantastic set of artifacts. Besides being historic and having interest in multiple categories of collectable, they will display great in a frame.

And thank you for the write-up. It is fascinating to read about the history of the items and their use in live color television during Apollo 10.

David Scott
(not the astronaut)
co-author Marketing the Moon

cfreeze79
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From: Martinez, CA, USA
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posted 06-25-2014 02:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I vividly recall when the Snoopy was listed on Astro Auction. Oddly enough, the auction closed during a rare outage of the website, and I was unable to place additional bids on it to acquire it - I had, and continue to, look for items flown aboard LM-4, as I am both a space collector and a Snoopy collector, and well, the Apollo X flown Snoopy painting is my personal collecting "holy grail".

Nevertheless, I am thrilled to see it got an excellent home. Let me know when you are tired of it, as I would relish the chance to take over custodianship of it.

David Carey
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posted 06-25-2014 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good stuff Larry -

Wasn't aware of the color test chart angle for the pictures or the notion of the Peanuts 'brand' potentially being tarnished by any failure.

I like the art/engineering duality for your paintings and Schulz's perspective in licensing the characters for use by NASA.

Thanks for the writeup.

SkyMan1958
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posted 06-25-2014 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good stuff Larry! It was GREAT to see you and to see Charlie Brown and Snoopy in their new home. Congratulations on putting together the set!!!

mode1charlie
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posted 06-25-2014 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very cool, Larry. Congrats on scoring such unique artifacts and thanks for your careful curation.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 06-25-2014 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice blog Larry; a typically diligent and accurate account. I can't think of a better place for them to be... except here maybe!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-25-2014 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations Larry, on uniting a boy and his dog once more! Fantastic write-up. It raises a question, though...
Under a license agreement between Charles Schulz and NASA, a NASA contracted graphic artist by the name of Ernie Reyes painted a caricature of Charlie Brown in a spacesuit on a green background and Snoopy, in his flying gear, on a piece of red poster board.
If a license existed, implying prior knowledge by Schulz that the paintings were going to fly, is there any record as to why he didn't draw (or paint) them himself?

Schulz provided the original artwork of astronaut Snoopy used for the Silver Snoopy and for the various Manned Spaceflight Awareness safety posters. Any idea why the paintings didn't follow suit?

lspooz
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 06-26-2014 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Again, kudos for the great posting about another bit of space history.

The hallmark of an great tool is one that is both functional and elegant, and this applies to many of the artifacts in your postings.

Larry McGlynn
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From: Boston, MA
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posted 06-26-2014 10:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I have asked all three members of the crew why Schulz didn't paint the works and that answer seems to be lost in time.

I am just continuing to look for more information on the paintings.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 06-27-2014 01:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That indeed is a good question, because Schulz swore no one would ever draw the Peanuts strip except for him. Others can get the characters close, but not exact. (I was at a store the other day and got excited when I saw a Peanuts comic book - even though I knew Schulz was dead. I picked it up, and immediately put it down because the characters were "off" - I didn't even check to see whether it was licensed or not.)

Larry McGlynn
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posted 06-27-2014 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hart, you should read Schulz's biography. It tells how he licensed NASA's use of the Peanuts characters in the MFA program.

When the crew of Apollo X decided on the names for the spacecraft, some people were concerned that in the event of failure of the mission and death of the crew, Charlie and Snoopy would be forever linked to the flight. Thus putting a black cloud over Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Schulz was said to have replied that if the crew can risk their lives, then he could risk Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Schulz was such an advocate of the space program.

I have attempted to interview anybody related to the Apollo X and the paintings. They are the first original paintings to fly to the Moon. They were a very visible part of the first color TV inflight shows from a mission to the Moon.

I just keep looking for more answers. I have talked with the crew. I have talked with members of the backup crew and the support crew. I have talked with the Schulz Museum who displayed the Snoopy painting at the museum back a few years ago. If I could find some ground support people, then I would talk to them also. I just keep pecking away looking for more answers.

Two other items of note.

I want to thank all of you for reading and providing the very positive comments on the article.

As I was reviewing the inflight TV shows that Apollo X performed during the mission, the crew gave the guys at mission control a subtle reminder of what their real job was during the flight. With the camera focused on the Earth, Gene cued up the tape recorder and played "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra. It is the first track on the cassette tape that Gene and Al Bishop created for the mission. I have that tape and that is the subject of another future story.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 06-27-2014 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Larry, I'm aware of NASA's licensing of Peanuts. I'm just not aware of anyone else drawing the Peanuts characters other than Schulz — the to-come computer-generated cartoon (which, in my opinion, looks terrible) notwithstanding.

Anyway, my understanding (and belief) is that aside from the Apollo 10 renditions, all Snoopy images used in NASA were made by Schulz, not anyone else.

Go4Launch
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posted 06-27-2014 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After the MFA office adopted Snoopy as a mascot, Ernie Reyes would draw a Snoopy cartoon that would be published as part of a daily launch vehicle/spacecraft flow processing document at KSC. Typically the beagle would be seen wrestling with some actual problem or event during the flow. They were quite popular, and later were collected into compilations for a number of Apollo missions. I have no idea if Schulz ever saw them and I never asked Ernie about any "concern" about the rights.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2014 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The agency was granted use of the cartoon character so long as Schulz drew Snoopy on all the NASA-related material and a copyright notice accompanied the artwork.
The above is from this 2009 article. Unfortunately, I don't have access to my notes to identify the source of that information.

But assuming for the moment it is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it is not), that means that sometime between the initial agreement in 1967 and when Apollo 10 flew, Schulz either granted permission for others (in this case, Ernie Reyes) to draw Snoopy and Charlie Brown, or NASA forgot the terms of its arrangement with the cartoonist (as NASA public affairs officer Al Chop initiated).

Obviously, Schulz wasn't upset about the paintings, given his own comments about them after he saw that they flew, but it would be interesting to learn what transpired.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 06-27-2014 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would almost say with certainty this Snoopy drawing (321443038922) was not done by Schulz... particularly with the misspelling of "Snoopies."

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 06-28-2014 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From an archived NASA site on the history of the Silver Snoopy:
NASA's chief of Manned Flight Awareness decided to approach Charles Schulz, the creator of Snoopy, and ask if the astronauts might be permitted to adopt Snoopy as their personal safety symbol. An avid supporter of the U.S. space program, Mr. Schulz enthusiastically welcomed the idea. Both Charles Schulz and United Features agreed to let NASA use "Snoopy the Astronaut" at no cost. However, in the interests of preserving the comic strip character's integrity, certain and very reasonable guidelines were established.

First, because no two artists draw Snoopy alike, and multiple artistic renditions of the floppy-eared celebrity would only compromise Snoopy's identity, Charles Schulz himself would draw the figure of Snoopy on all NASA-related motivational items (decals, bumper stickers, posters, cards, pins, etc.).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-28-2014 01:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (emphasis mine):
Journal Contributor Ulli Lotzmann had discussions with Ernie Reyes in mid-2000 about Snoopy's association with Apollo. Reyes was Chief of the Pre-Flight Operations Branch at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston during Apollo; and Lotzmann reports that Reyes, Wayne Stallard and others drew little cartoons on the daily schedules to make them more interesting. The Reyes Snoopy, who looks a little bit different to the Schulz-Snoopy as can be seen from examples in the Apollo 12 cuff checklists, became popular with the Astronaut Corps. Because the cartoons were never intended for commercial publication, Reyes never asked Schulz for permission to use the character.

chet
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posted 06-28-2014 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I remember seeing (and may still have buried somewhere) many such drawings of Snoopy (and other Peanuts characters obviously NOT drawn by Schultz) plastered over quite a few NASA related publications, (most of them related to NASA contractor personnel). I don't have any originals, but what I remember seeing (or having) seemed to be vintage photocopies of those publications, and I always wondered how permission was obtained to use the Peanuts characters that way. I guess now we know.

Go4Launch
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posted 07-01-2014 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great work tracking that down, Robert. And yes, the Apollo 16 booklet on the right is the collection of Ernie's cartoons for that flight's flow as referenced.

767FO
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posted 07-12-2014 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 767FO   Click Here to Email 767FO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Schultz "allowed" two artists to recreate his characters. Bill Melendez directed all of the Peanuts TV specials (including doing many of the voices for the characters) and also Tom Everhart, who does incredible paintings using the Peanuts characters.

p51
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posted 07-12-2014 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And while totally unrelated, I have to throw in that the cartoonist only ever used one person's art other than Schulz's in one Peanuts strip ever; WW2 cartoonist Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" characters appeared one Veteran's Day.

Peter Bendel
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posted 08-12-2014 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter Bendel   Click Here to Email Peter Bendel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Mr. McGlynn and other space enthusiasts:

I am contacting you in this forum hoping some of your peers in the hobby will see the facts and convince you to open your mind to the truth. Back in 2010 I discovered you were in possession of the Snoopy drawing flown on Apollo 10. I tried to contact you by email three separate times and never got a reply. I even sent you an article I wrote titled "Forty Years in Search of Snoopy" published in NASA History News and Notes, Second Quarter 2010, and still received no reply. I decided at that point to leave things alone since the truth was published in an official NASA publication. However, after finding out you now possess both drawings of Snoopy and Charlie Brown flown on Apollo 10 and you are making conflicting statements concerning the creation of these artifacts, I had to attempt to contact you again. This time by phone and again you ignored me.

In your article you state that Ernie Reyes is the creator of these drawings. In collectSPACE you state you are still trying to interview people about their origins. You do a disservice by spreading falsehoods and show disrespect by dismissing people like me just because you have not heard of them or they do not fit with your agenda. At no time in the 45 years since these drawings were created has anybody in or out of NASA come forward as the creator of the Snoopy drawing flown on Apollo 10 other than me.

If you had read the NASA article you would have discovered that I created the drawing of Snoopy for my uncle, Vincent Buffalino, who worked for Grumman Aircraft. He was a mechanic responsible for building the landing gear on the Lunar Module. The drawing you possess hung on the wall at Grumman until it was sent with the LM to the Kennedy Space Center. Once NASA took possession of the drawing my family lost track of it until I saw it on the internet in 2010. In 1986, I attempted to locate my drawing by contacting the Johnson Space Center. They did not know where the original drawing was but had a photo of it. NASA kept the negative but sent me the original print as a memento. I have no idea if NASA reworked my artwork for the mission. However, I am 100% positive the lines, the shapes, the size and colors of the Snoopy drawing are mine. My uncle also verified the photo. This childhood memory is still very strong because of the excitement I experienced knowing my work may travel to the moon.

I was a child of 10 when I drew Snoopy and suspect the Charlie Brown drawing was also created by a child. Children around the ages of 7 to 10 tend to draw people and other life like creatures in proportion. Notice the feet of both my Snoopy drawing and the feet of Charlie brown; they are small and in proportion to the rest of the body. This is also true of their hands/paws. They look nothing like that created by Ernie Reyes or that of Charles Schulz. Ernie Reyes style was completely different. He drew Snoopy looking like a combination of a Snoopy head with a human like body.

What better way for NASA to promote Apollo 10 then to take a popular cartoon caricature loved by both kids and adults and have children do the drawings to be used for the television broadcast. There was no copyright infringement, no profits were made and kids with any artistic ability were drawing Snoopy at the time. You even acknowledged how important these drawing were to Charles Schulz. If the other artist who drew Charlie Brown was indeed a child they may have forgotten about their contribution to the space program. However, now that the drawing has been made public the true artist may see it and come forward.

When I discovered that my Snoopy drawing was exhibited at the Charles Schultz Museum, I contacted the Curator, Jane O'Cain. We spoke for a long time and she encouraged me to write up my story and submit it to her. She then sent it to the Johnson Space Center History Office Director, Ms. Rebbecca Wright, who sent the article to Ms. Jane Odum, at the NASA History Office for publication. If all these groups believe me, why can't you? Put yourself in my place. What would you have done knowing something you created as a kid went to the moon, was lost to time and recently rediscovered?

I have no interest in gaining possession of my drawing. These type of items should be in the hands of avid collectors for preservation and to make sure their history is properly recorded. My only intent is to have the truth known about the origin of the Snoopy drawing, receive acknowledgment as the artist and perhaps some day be allowed to see the drawing one more time.

I hope to here from you. Respectfully, — Peter R. Bendel

lspooz
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posted 08-12-2014 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a few comments as a peer in the hobby, although I don't have a 'dog in the fight'
quote:
Originally posted by Peter Bendel:
In your article you state that Ernie Reyes is the creator of these drawings. In collectSPACE you state you are still trying to interview people about their origins. You do a disservice by spreading falsehoods and show disrespect by dismissing people...
This seems rather inflammatory...

Chet's posting [6/28] is a reminder that many unofficial artists were busy out there for decades in NASA.

Given that the paintings (not drawings) seem beyond the skill of a 10 year old, my general take on your posting is that an extraordinary claim would require extraordinary evidence. Provenance of historic artifacts requires diligence and careful documentation, and changes/updates to provenance require strong evidence.

Since Mr. McGlynn seems committed to preservation and celebration of space artifacts given his past efforts, it seems like it is already the case that These type of items should be in the hands of avid collectors for preservation and to make sure their history is properly recorded....

Larry McGlynn
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posted 08-12-2014 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Peter, I have discussed this topic with the crew of Apollo 10. They have stated that it was a graphic artist under contract to NASA that created the paintings. I asked them if a child painted either of the works and they said no.

I have no agenda. I truly wish the story was about a young boy who painted Snoopy. That fact would just add to the paintings' tale. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the case according to the men who flew the mission.

You called me while I was in hospital and wasn't in the office. It has been busy, so I do apologize for not getting back to you, but I was a bit indisposed at the time.

Sorry to have caused you pain. — Lawrence L. McGlynn

leslie
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posted 08-13-2014 06:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is saddening to note the frustration of Peter regarding this painting. I well recall the previous postings and the matter is evidently unresolved.

However, whilst I am sure there is no malice meant by Peter's posting I can offer the following which may ease his frustration somewhat.

Space memorabilia has become a high ranking international business/hobby as of 2014 and at the level of McGlynn and many other collectors, provenance is the key word. When it comes to a flown item, much time and effort and expense may be spent on checking the history with intense research and having noted the McGlynn collection over the years can attest to the amount of time and effort taken to be as certain as can be that an item is the real deal.

In this instance that painting will have been paraded certainly before the eyes of General Stafford and Gene Cernan. There is simply no possibility of this painting being classified as it has been without the sanction of the crew involved. If that is not sufficient I regret that Peter will continue to harbor his frustrations... and that is regretful.

Peter Bendel
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posted 08-17-2014 07:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter Bendel   Click Here to Email Peter Bendel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Mr. McGlynn and others for your comments:

I know these drawings only have historical value because of their use on Apollo 10. The artist is basically irrelevant. Based upon the responses received, it was implied that people engaged in this hobby are honorable and this world wide group of collectors does there due diligence in attaining the provenance of items. That being the case; why was the Snoopy drawing credited to Ernie Reyes without the necessary proof? Based on your own standards you still do not know who drew either of these two pieces. I would feel better if you redact Ernie Reyes name and went back to saying unknown graphic artist. That would at least be more accurate.

You took the opinions of the Astronauts on Apollo 10 as proof a child did not create these drawings. John Young, Thomas Stafford, and Gene Cernan, although highly accomplished American Heroes, may not necessarily be qualified to determine if art was created by a child or not. When I contacted Ms. Jane O'Cain, Curator of the Schultz Museum back in 2010, she stated the Snoopy drawing looked rudimentary and may have been created by a child. She also asked another person on her staff and they concurred. This is part of the reason she asked me to write an article. Their opinions are as important or greater than those of the Apollo 10 crew because they work with cartoon art and children almost every day. You should allowed a professional trained in interpretation, particularly child art look at these pieces.

When I was a child I draw cartoons using colored pencils, colored magic markers, and soft pastels. Many were a combination of pastels and markers. The Snoopy piece was no different. When most 4 year old children draw stick figure, color the sky blue only on the top of the drawing and green grass only under feet, I was drawing colored cartoons, including Felix the Cat, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and others. Many of these were well beyond the abilities of the average 4 year old; so by age 10 I was pretty good. My Mother saved some of these as mothers will do with their children. I inherited them when she died. I still draw and paint with pastels but the artwork generally deals with wildlife.

I know without a doubt the Snoopy drawing is mine. I can tell you every corrected mistake. For example, did you notice that Snoopy's nose is set up high on his muzzle and not in the center as usually depicted. I originally drew the snout too close to the edge of the piece and could not get the nose correct, so I moved it up to make it fit properly. This is also why the black line outlining the bottom of the snout is so wide. It corrected the shape and distortion between the colors. The top line of the scarf is also wide because I was unable to make it look like it was flapping in the wind, so I just made it look straight. I also drew the scarf from how I would ware them at the time, rapped completely around the neck with the long parts in the back. Snoopy's neck is longer than normal to accommodate the thickness of the scarf. There are others.

You may be correct in one area. Once NASA took possession of my drawing the Graphics Department may have reworked the piece to make it usable in space on a mission featuring color TV. For example when pastel is photographed some color remains vivid but the texture and some detail disappears. This would also happen if it was laminated. A fixative may have been added protecting the pastels from smudges. This tends to altering the appearance of the medium. The original art may have been photographically enlarged, flaws corrected and shrunk down to necessary size. In that case my original would probably not have been the actual flown item. This is all conjecture at this point because I haven't seen this piece since I was a child.

I hope you are willing to do more research. A lot of history is lost to time and can never be proved, however, inferences are generally drawn based upon facts. As a Wildlife Biologist, we draw inferences based upon the data collected in order to make management decisions. We are obligated to correct protocols when confronted by new findings.

I realize my efforts in this matter may seen over the top, trivial and in the long run who really cares. For me, its personal. The recognition only has meaning to me. Imagine having something you created being used in one of the most significant accomplishment in human history; knowing only you and one other person in all of humanity had that privilege and the credit is given to someone else.

I would be happy to meet with you some day and show you some of my early drawings. At the very least I hope to continue this dialog! Thank you.

cfreeze79
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From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 08-17-2014 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just for fun - I post this image of "Snoopy over the Years." To be blunt, Charles Schultz' own drawings of Snoopy were pretty amateur until the 1970s.

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